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Version 4.0 of Song Rhythm Tracks

monoTone old Piano

Song Rhythm Tracks and its companion ‘sampler’ apps have been out at release 4 since late last year and the final sampler, “Classic Country Music” has just been released. The changes have been received well. Here’s a summary.

SetList Folding

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Setlists are a great feature of the table design of Song Rhythm Tracks. They partition your collection of tracks into lists for various uses – personal or group practice sessions, gigs, or genres of music. Anything you want really. As one’s collection of tracks increases, it is nice to focus on just the one setlist and the ‘setlist jumping’ feature (blue up and down arrows ) is a handy navigation. The “setlist play” feature is a favourite feature of mine. New for version 4 is the ‘setlist folding‘ feature which hides/reveals the setlists so their tracks do not appear in the table. This also affects searching: Results do not include tracks in folded setlists.

Audio Sharing

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At last! I hear you cry. Now we have the standard iOS feature to share the audio file in whatever ways your device has been configured – AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Notes, Box, ‘Save to Files’, ‘Save to Keep’ are just some on my iPhone.

Press the track’s share button on the app’s main table. We feel the mobile app is still the best player for these files, because of its musician-friendly features – tempo control, arrangement details, large buttons and more, but if you want to use the backing tracks elsewhere, it is now easier to achieve and we provide the arrangement details in MP3 tags, if that helps.

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Track definitions can still be shared by pressing the share button from the track definition page, which has the rhythm and arrangement selections.

Refreshed visual design

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The main table, shown here with search enabled, shows the track’s rhythm in orange and its arrangement in green.



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The selection page now has headers for the arrangement aspects of (i) Song Form, (ii) number of introduction bars, (iii) number of repeats of the form and (iv) number of ending bars. Arrangement details are in green and rhythm selection in orange.

We’ve always liked minimalist design and we are trying to stay true to that. We included some animations to help see things like duplication of tracks. We’ve also improved dark mode. We moved to symbols-only for buttons some time ago, with good descriptions for each button in the in-app help files. One of the most noticeable changes is a rationalisation of colours; Now everywhere in the app,
(i) rhythm selections and description are always orange and
(ii) arrangement selection and descriptions are always green.
We feel this consistency helps navigate the app.

Updated in-app guides and videos!

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In-app guides are selected using the ‘?’ button with a left-right swipe for multiple guide pages. We’ve updated these and added video guides for making the most of the apps. We feel this provides the best help for using our apps.

Polished recent upgrades

We’ve also polished our recent upgrades so they shine. In all four of the apps, the list of tracks, for each of the three samplers, can be downloaded as setlists. Simply perform a setlist search for any of these names,

“Afro-Cuban Salsa”,
“Jazz and Blues”, and
“Classic Country Music”.
(Remember to save (with the ‘tick’ button), when you receive the successful download message)
You receive all the track definitions (in the “deferred” state) and you can choose at any time to download any of the audio tracks.

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Holds and Pushes – We recently added “whole-bar holds” and “eighth note pushes” to the detailed user-defined arrangement facilities. We find the holds particularly useful for those songs that require them.

So those are the main changes for release 4.0. We are really happy with them. We hope you are too. As always, please send your feedback to marketing@alive-drumming.org.

“Jazz and Blues” Sampler iOS App released by Alive Drumming

illustration sax AndySnitzer

Check out Alive Drumming’s first ‘Sampler’ edition of the ‘Song Rhythm Tracks (SRT)’ iOS App, the “Jazz and Blues Sampler“.

Jazz and Blues Sampler has the same facilities as the standard App but comes pre-installed with 20+ Jazz and Blues arrangements and an allocation of 4 downloads for your own arrangements (more are available via In-App Purchasing).  What an opportunity to sample some arrangements of these well-known standards before using the App for your own arrangements!   It’s the same Song Rhythm Tracks App with the latest graphics and facilities.

Price Reduced for a limited time!

Alive Drumming has reduced this App’s price for a limited time after which it returns to full pricing.  This is a great opportunity to try out this heralded rhythm track arranger at no cost.   Try the Jazz and Blues standards and arrange some more tracks for whatever tunes you are playing currently.  There’s a vast selection of authentic rhythms from talented artists across many genres in addition to Jazz and Blues.

The Tracks

Song For My Father” – 4 choruses of 24-bar AAB (as 8|8/8 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a Rock Bossa at 140 bpm
The Way You Look Tonight” – 3 choruses of 68-bar AABC (as 16|16/16|20 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a modern Jazz rhythm at 210 bpm


Blue Monk “- 6 choruses of 12-bar Blues (3 x 4-bar phrases) with no intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a bluesy shuffle at 100 bpm
Georgia On My Mind” – 4 choruses of 32-bar AABA (as 8|8/8|8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a bluesy, slow swinging rhythm at 65 bpm
Blame It On My Youth” – 4 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 (16|16 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a slow swinging Jazz ballad rhythm, with a 2-feel during the middle choruses, at 45 bpm
Blue Bossa” – 6 choruses of a 16-bar Tune (with 4 x 4-bar phrases) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a grooving funky rhythm at 110 bpm
Fly Me To The Moon” – 4 choruses of standard 32-bar A1A2 (as 16|16 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 10-bar ending, using a swinging light pop rhythm at 130 bpm
Bye Bye Blackbird” – 4 choruses of a user-defined form (16/8/8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a standard Jazz brushes rhythm at 120 bpm
Dearly Beloved” – 5 choruses of a user-defined form (8|8|8|8 bars) with no intro’ and an 8-bar ending, using a straight ahead Jazz rhythm at 146 bpm
All Blues” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (12|12 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a 6/8 country pop and rock rhythm at 110 bpm
Just Friends “as a Cha Cha – 5 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (16|16 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a regular Cha Cha rhythm at 135 bpm
On Green Dolphin Street” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (8/8|8/8 bars) with a 12-bar intro’ and an 8-bar ending, using an alternating Bossa and Swing rhythms at 145 bpm
Take the “A” Train” – 5 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (16|16 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a straight ahead Jazz rhythm at 146 bpm
All The Things You Are” – 3 choruses of 36-bar ABC form (16/8|12 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a Jazz Brushes rhythm at 120 bpm
How High The Moon” – 4 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (16|16 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a straight ahead Jazz rhythm at 100 bpm
Almost Like Being In Love” – 4 choruses of 36-bar ABC form (16/8|12 bars) with no intro’ and no ending, using a standard swinging 8th Jazz rhythm at 145 bpm
St. Thomas” – 3 choruses of a 16-Bar Tune form (as 4 x 4-bar phrases) with no intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a merengue tipico Salsa rhythm at 130 bpm
How Insensitive” – 4 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (16|16 bars) with no intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a sophisticated latin Bossa at 120 bpm
Stormy Weather” – 3 choruses of 32-bar AABA form (8|8/8|8 bars) with a 4-bar intro’ and no ending, using a slow swinging 8th Jazz rhythm at 50 bpm
Moonlight In Vermont” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (3 x 6|6|8|8 bars) with no intro’ and a 2-bar ending, using a Jazz brushes rhythm at 70 bpm
Perdido” – 5 choruses of 32-bar AABA form (8|8/8|8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a swinging shuffling Jazz groove at 145 bpm
I Love Paris” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (16|16/16 bars) with an 8-bar intro and an 8-bar ending, using a regular Cha Cha  rhythm at 110 bpm
In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (8|10 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 6-bar ending, using a slow swinging ballad Jazz rhythm at 45 bpm

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“Song Rhythm Tracks” – A Comparison

iPhone X

Song Rhythm Tracks” is Alive Drumming’s mobile Musician’s App providing production-ready rhythmic backing.  It is available on the Apple iOS App Store.

Alive Drumming brings musicians production-quality rhythmic backing, in it’s most convenient form — a mobile App to select, download and play Alive Drumming’s “Song Rhythm Tracks”.

Song Rhythm Tracks

Song Rhythm Tracks are a new type of backing track composed entirely of rhythmic backing (no melody or harmony) arranged to the musical form of the song — it’s “songform”. These tracks are complete performances like one gets from a professional drummer. They have a count-in, introduction section, choruses and characteristic endings, framed by fills showing where sections start and end. Even musical bridges and middle choruses have higher intensity where appropriate to the style. All this without a typical arranger’s interface, keeping it simple. One selects a track in under 30 seconds — under 15 seconds after getting the hang of it.

The App’s musician’s player has tempo adjustment and a facility to sequence tracks for your gig or jam session. It is for musicians of all abilities. New musicians use the App to provide an accompaniment to songs. They get a rhythm that is sympathetic so they learn to keep time, get into the groove and internalise the song’s musical structure – All this while enjoying engaging and inspiring rhythms. Gigging musicians catalogue their backing into setlists and use it to guide performance. Having quality rhythmic backing, with a setlist facility and a musician’s player, all in the one App is so convenient one finds oneself using this rhythmic backing more and more.

Musician’s Player

A “Musician’s Player” — what’s that? One that dims the screen, will play in the background, has good-sized buttons and allows you to change the volume with the physical buttons. Yes, that but this player also displays the musical form of the track such as

“4 choruses of 32 bars of standard AABA form (8|8/8|8) 
with no intro’ and a 4-Bar ending”, 

and provides visual tracking against this as it plays. This is the information musicians want right before they are about to play a track. If they start to lose their place a bit while they play, a quick glance at the display will likely get them back “on track” again.

Massive Library of Rhythms

There’s a huge number of rhythms and endless musical forms for your songs. Once selected, the arranged track is downloaded from Alive Drumming’s servers and then it stays on your device for playing. Alive Drumming grants the user rights to remix the track so they may be transferred to a computer to be included in the user’s own compositions and album releases.
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